NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1178152
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Jun
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0090-6905
Do Children Understand Iconic Gestures about Events as Early as Iconic Gestures about Entities?
Glasser, Melissa L.; Williamson, Rebecca A.; Özçaliskan, Seyda
Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, v47 n3 p741-754 Jun 2018
Children can understand iconic co-speech gestures that characterize entities by age 3 (Stanfield et al. in "J Child Lang" "40"(2):1-10, 2014; e.g., "I'm drinking" + tilting hand in C-shape to mouth as if holding a glass). In this study, we ask whether children understand co-speech gestures that characterize "events" as early as they do so for entities, and if so, whether their understanding is influenced by the patterns of gesture production in their native language. We examined this question by studying native English speaking 3- to 4 year-old children and adults as they completed an iconic co-speech gesture comprehension task involving motion events across two studies. Our results showed that children understood iconic co-speech gestures about events at age 4, marking comprehension of gestures about events one year later than gestures about entities. Our findings also showed that native gesture production patterns influenced children's comprehension of gestures characterizing such events, with better comprehension for gestures that follow language-specific patterns compared to the ones that do not follow such patterns--particularly for manner of motion. Overall, these results highlight early emerging abilities in gesture comprehension about motion events.
Springer. 233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013. Tel: 800-777-4643; Tel: 212-460-1500; Fax: 212-348-4505; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A